‘Don’t accept shoddy property standards’

by Gazette Reporter
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A LOCAL councillor has told people in rented homes not to accept “shoddy” standards in the properties they occupy.
Cllr William Lavelle (FG) this week called on both tenants and neighbours to insist that landlords comply with their duties to keep private residential properties in a proper state of repair and maintenance.
Cllr Lavelle also said that residents who were concerned about the poor visual state of neighbouring private residential properties should complain to the council.
He said that the issue came up often, and should not be accepted just because of the regularity.
“I am regularly contacted by residents’ associations concerned about unsightly rented houses dragging down the appearance of otherwise well-kept estates. This should not be accepted, and I will work with residents to ensure rental standards are enforced.”
Earlier this month, the Housing (Standards for Rented Housing) Regulations were extended to apply to all private rented tenancies.
Section 5 of these regulations requires “that the house shall be maintained in a proper state of structural repair. A proper state of structural repair is defined as sound, internally and externally”.
Cllr Lavelle contacted South Dublin County Council this week, which advised him that the council can intervene, but must be made aware of any breach of regulations early on.
The council response said: “In the case of private rented properties, all instances of a breach in rental standards should be brought to the attention of the health services environmental health officers, who are engaged by the council on an agency basis to carry out standard inspections of private rental properties”, going on to say that complaints are inspected, before being acted on.
“Response inspections (on foot of a complaint) are processed on a case-by-case basis, depending on the nature of the reported breach of standards, using the information on registered landlord/tenant details from the Private Rented Tenancies Board.
“Should there be issues arising from an inspection, a letter is issued to the property owner identifying works for attention and a subsequent inspection is carried out to ensure all necessary identified works have been attended to.
“Enforcement action may be taken in the event that the works are not carried out,” said the report.
Tenants in difficulty should make contact with South Dublin County Council on 01 414 9000 or  Threshold, the national housing charity, which offers legal advice for renters; see www.threshold.ie.

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